Discussions began in Osaka on Monday on a proposed special economic zone in the Kansai region that will include an experimental program to attract foreign maids to the region.

An initiative backed by the central government, the zone is a series of locations in Hyogo, Osaka, and Kyoto prefectures where taxes and regulation will be lower than elsewhere.

Yoshitaka Shindo, state minister in charge of decentralization, met with Osaka Gov. Ichiro Matsui, Hyogo Gov. Toshizo Ido and senior Kansai business leaders in the pharmaceutical and transportation industries — two sectors expected to benefit from the zone — to discuss the issue.